Bitcoin tumbled for a fifth day, dropping below US$7,000 for the first time since November and leading other digital tokens lower, as a backlash by banks and government regulators against the speculative frenzy that drove cryptocurrencies to dizzying heights last year picks up steam.
The biggest digital currency sank as much as 22 per cent to US$6,579, before trading at US$7,054 as of 4:08 p.m. in New York, according to composite Bloomberg pricing. It has erased about 65 per cent of its value from a record high US$19,511 in December. Rival coins also retreated on Monday, with Ripple losing as much as 21 per cent and Ethereum and Litecoin also weaker.
“Although no fundamental change triggered this crash, the parabolic growth this market has experienced had to slow down at some point,” Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research, wrote in an email. “All that it took this time was a large lot of sell orders.”